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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby



Branford Marsalis Quartet

Marsalis Music/Rounder 11661-33012



  • Giggin’
  • The Freedom Suite
  • A Love Supreme
  • Concorde
  • Branford Marsalis – saxophonesJoey Calderazzo – pianoEric Revis – bassJeff "Tain" Watts – Drums.The Freedom Suite was written by Sonny Rollins, it consists of four parts, Movement I, Interlude, Movement II, Movement III.A Love Supreme was written by John Coltrane and is also in four parts, I Acknowledgement, II Resolution, III Persuance, IV Psalm.The first piece Giggin' is a composition of Ornette Coleman, Branford is on soprano for this first track and his performance has elements of the quirkiness and humour of the composer’s playing. I am not a great fan of Coleman, but I did enjoy the quartet’s version of this composition.The Freedom Suite has Branford on tenor and he takes the difficult task of re-working someone else’s masterpiece in his stride. In his playing you can here elements of all jazz’s forefathers and not just the black one’s the sleeve note would have you believe.He has a superb tone and technique and execution to deliver exactly what he has in mind. He is well supported throughout by Eric Revis on bass and Tai Watts on drums, who provide backing which is exciting but not overpowering.To someone like me, who feels that John Coltrane did more harm than good to the cause of jazz, listening to a different version of Love Supreme was something of a challenge. Whilst I like the way Branford Marsalis plays much better than John Coltrane, I just don’t like this piece, its ugly and it is beyond my comprehension as to why it is regarded as such an important work.Concorde, composed by pianist John Lewis is different again, the ugly sounds have gone and we are back to music that has a melodic content and is worthy of the quartet’s talents. I prefer this piece to any other on the album, it swings and we can hear one of the world’s greatest tenor players, playing his way through and around some interesting changes.

    Don Mather





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